What follows is a slightly modified transcript of a recent email reference query (names have been changed to protect privacy, and it has also been edited for brevity):
Patron logs on as “Susan”
Patron: Do you have old Dumbass High School Yearbooks?
Librarian: Hello Susan, this is Megan. We keep yearbooks in the Genealogy Department.
Patron: I do not live in Dumbass
Librarian: I see. Would you like us to research this and get back to you via email?
Librarian: OK, what’s your email address? And what year are you looking for?
Patron: I can be reached at email@example.com. I’m looking for 1965 or 1966. My father’s birthday is coming up and we’d like to make him a copy.
Librarian: That’s a wonderful idea!
Patron: Thanks much
Librarian: And you are Susan Doe?
Patron: Whom am I speaking with?
Librarian: It’s customary and helpful to know who we’re assisting
Librarian: This is Megan Smith
Patron: OK thanks much
Librarian: Did you have any other questions today?
Patron: No thanks
Librarian: OK we’ll get back to you shortly
So, I do the research and we do indeed have the yearbooks she needs. I send an email to tell her the good news, and she writes back asking if we have any copies for sale. Umm… NO! These are reference items that do not leave the building. Then I indicated that I could, however, photocopy the page(s) that depict her father and mail them to her since she lives in a neighboring State. But first, she needs to provide her father’s name so we know who we are looking for.
I’m still waiting to hear back.